Home Hunt in Mexico: A Modern Hillside Masterpiece in Acapulco

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This contemporary five-bedroom home overlooks Acapulco Bay from the hillside gated community of Las Brisas in Acapulco, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. The house was designed by famous Mexican architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés and completed last year, said Laura de la Torre de Skipsey, agent for Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty, which holds the list.

“The design is very vertical,” she said, with more than 14,000 square feet of living space spread over five floors. Spare white interiors, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and neutral marble floors can be lit at night in soothing neon hues. Electronic blinds throughout the house provide sun protection and privacy.

The main entrance from the driveway opens into a hallway with stairs to the fourth floor living room, a glass-walled open space with stunning bay views and 16-foot ceilings. An adjoining patio has an infinity pool. A wall separates the elegant Italian kitchen, which has a large central island and high-end appliances, from the living room.

Above the living room, on the roof, is a garden with a stone patio and a marble bar. Below on the third floor are two bedrooms large enough for king-size beds, as well as a family room with kitchenette, a fully-equipped cinema room, and a small exercise room with massage table.

Two more bedrooms are on the second floor. One is sized for two double beds and the other can accommodate four twin beds – two upstairs and two on a mezzanine above.

The master suite, on the ground floor, has sliding glass doors that open onto a courtyard with a shaded seating area and a second swimming pool.

Among the neighboring properties, said Ms de la Torre de Skipsey, is the remarkable Casa Arango, a circular concrete house with a deep and open terrace designed in the 1970s by American architect John Lautner, an early apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The iconic resort town of Las Brisas, which dates back to the 1950s and is known for its white and pink color scheme, has a private beach club. “Sixty years ago,” said Ms. de la Torre de Skipsey, “Las Brisas was the most important place. All the famous actors and billionaires had homes there. It’s a hill, so all the homes have a breathtaking view of the bay.

Acapulco International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away. Mexico City International Airport, which has more international flights, is a three-hour drive away.

Acapulco, the largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero, has around 780,000 residents, according to the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics. A favorite getaway destination for Hollywood elite and British royalty in the 1950s and 1960s, the area has been plagued by violence in recent years, though it remains a popular vacation spot for Mexican tourists.

The average selling price of a home in Mexico rose 7.1% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, to 1.324 million pesos ($ 64,300), according to the country’s Federal Mortgage Society, which tracks the price of homes with a mortgage. credit. (Mexico does not have a multiple listing service.) Guerrero, one of Mexico’s 32 federal entities, saw prices increase 7.3 percent; in Acapulco, they increased 7.6 percent.

The price range for homes in Acapulco is very wide, said Lola Aguirre Gutierrez, broker at Century 21 Lol and Associates. “There are ocean front properties from $ 25,000 to $ 3.5 million,” she said. “It’s a versatile market – Acapulco caters to all budgets. “

Most of the properties are for resale, she said. New condos are rare, except in what is called the “Diamond Zone”, a new high-end resort area in the south of the city. (Las Brisas is in this area.)

The average price per square meter in Las Brisas is around $ 2,500 ($ 232 per square foot), said Ms. de la Torre la Skipsey. (Many properties in Mexico, including this one, are priced in U.S. dollars.)

Ivan Castillo, real estate attorney and managing director of Secure Title Riviera Maya, said Acapulco’s housing market is largely local. “One of the reasons is that the Acapulco airport has virtually no international flights,” he said. “So it’s more common for people in Mexico City to like this region. There are foreigners there, but you hardly see any.

The pandemic has caused a sharp drop in international travel to Mexico. In the first quarter of 2021, the 11.4 million visitors recorded by the Economic Affairs Unit of the Mexican Embassy in the United States was about half of the number recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

The US State Department is currently advising against travel to the state of Guerrero due to crime and kidnapping.

About 85% of buyers in Acapulco come from Mexico, particularly Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos, Pachuca and Querétaro, Ms. Gutierrez said. “We still hold the interest of some North Americans, but very few Europeans,” she said.

Ms de la Torre de Skipsey said several upscale hotels in Acapulco were seeing record bookings from foreigners, which may suggest growing interest in investing in vacation homes.

Foreign buyers must obtain a permit from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additionally, Castillo said, foreign buyers who buy within 30 miles of the coast or 60 miles of the border must buy through a Mexican bank trust or Mexican corporation.

Transactions are done through a notary and buyers must also meet government requirements put in place to prevent money laundering. “The notary must verify that the money paid for the property comes from the buyer’s own account,” Mr. Castillo said.

The agent’s commission in Acapulco is typically between 4% and 6% of the sale price and is paid by the owner or developer, Ms. Gutierrez said.

Spanish; Mexican peso (1 peso = $ 0.05)

The transfer tax to Acapulco is 2% of the purchase price, Castillo said. Closing costs, including the cost of setting up the trust, typically total between 4-7%.

The annual property taxes on this home are approximately $ 1,390 and the annual maintenance fee is $ 7,650, said Ms. de la Torre de Skipsey.

Laura de la Torre de Skipsey, Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-52-55-3466-6198; sothebysrealty.com

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